After a beautifully warm and sunny yesterday, when I managed to log a couple hours in the garden, transplanting most of my overgrown, tired seedlings (I had been waiting for the first glimmer of sun for weeks), I rose today to the return of the cold, gray rain. "Fine", I thought, "no backyard grilling; soup it is".
Reaching into the dry goods cupboard, I smelled the distinct aroma of acetic acid creeping around from the dark corner where my vinegar experiment had been (I thought) hibernating for the last five or six weeks. I pulled out the jar in which I had previously found only stale red wine remains, to find a glossy, slimy veneer floating atop the red juice. The Mother! That internal organ-looking thing, that miracle of cellulose and mycoderma aceti bacteria that works the magic of transforming fermented alcoholic substances into vinegar, had arrived! I had forgotten about my vinegar jar, relegating it to the shameful but all too populous corner of failed fermentation or other DIY experiments, when that is just what it needed: a little dark, a little cool, and a little time to get comfortable.
Mother Nature, in the guise of Mother Vinegar, had seen fit to give me a little consolation in this season of Spring rains and sluggish ferments.
Oh, and I used my mezzaluna for the first time today:
to follow that aforementioned soup.